Trade Shows


The second Couture Collection & Conference, a by-invitation-only show geared to high-end jewelers, was considered successful by attendees.

The event, held May 27-29 in the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Cal., featured a seminar program dedicated to marketing issues facing luxury retailers and a buying floor where manufacturers exhibited their lines in enclosed, European-style show booths. Attendance totaled 120 retail companies and 107 manufacturers.

Buying activity appeared brisk during the show. Manufacturers reported a chance to meet new accounts and to work with regular accounts in advance of the JCK International Jewelry Show in Las Vegas, freeing time to find new sources at the latter show. All attendees praised the Couture Collection show format, which offered a relaxed atmosphere and an opportunity to network without feeling time pressure. “This show provided a wonderful environment and terrific accessibility to build relationships with designers and manufacturers,” said Michele Hafer of Molina Jewels, Phoenix, Ariz.

A new event, the Jewelry Couture Award, was sponsored by the show and Town & Country magazine. Exhibitors could enter one piece of jewelry or one timepiece to be judged on uniqueness, quality of workmanship, appropriateness for the prestige retailer and desirability for the upscale consumer. Each exhibitor, retailer and trade association attending had one vote. Winners were judged and announced during a celebration hosted by the magazine. The grand prize was awarded to Collection Vhernier by Jean-Francois Michaud of Switzerland. First prize was presented to JFA Designs of Costa Mesa, Cal.; second prize to Picchiotti of Valenza, Italy; and third prize to Antonini of Milan, Italy.

The World Gold Council and Town & Country presented a breakfast seminar that outlined opportunities afforded by designer gold jewelry. The Platinum Guild International and Conde Nast publications hosted a breakfast seminar that offered an update on the affluent market. And George magazine presented a breakfast seminar featuring Paul Begala, who worked on President Clinton’s 1992 election campaign. He discussed the impact of the luxury market in an election year.


Attendance and buying were light at the first International Jewelry Exposition, held May 18-20 in Atlantic City, N.J. The show, organized by IJE/Best Tradeshows Management, was sponsored by Modern Jeweler magazine and endorsed by the New York State Jewelers Association.

The show featured 220 exhibitors and attracted 2,200 retail buyers, says John Fox, IJE communications director. Most of the buyers were from the Northeast.

Some high-volume jewelry wholesalers — such as Metal Marketplace International — and at least two high-end companies — Chimento USA and designer Ronna Lugosch — reported satisfactory sales. But many others were disappointed by the light traffic.

In response to personal interviews and post-show surveys, IJE management has indicated a possible change in dates and pattern for next year’s show. Under consideration for 1997 are a move to September and a Sunday-Tuesday format. Details are expected to be announced shortly.

NYSJA held its annual conference in conjunction with the show. During the conference, NYSJA presented Hershel Graubart with its 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award. Graubart represents the third generation of M.B. Graubart & Sons, Schenectady, N.Y., a business that celebrates its 100th anniversary next year. Graubart started in the jewelry retail business at age 13. He served as president of NYSJA from 1963 to 1964 and secretary from 1970 to 1972. He is also the past president of the New York and New Jersey Guild of the American Gem Society.

Marvin Scherzer was honored as Jewelry Industry Salesman of the Year. He has worked for nine years for Raymond Weil USA as regional sales representative for New York, Washington, D.C., and parts of the Caribbean.


The Maryland-Delaware-Washington, D.C., Jewelers Association has scheduled its Expo ’96 for Sept. 7-8 at the Turf Valley Country Club in Ellicott City, Md.

Ethics and consumer safety are on the agenda at two Gemological Institute of America workshops during the weekend. The workshops will teach “Detecting Fractured, Filled and Synthetic Diamonds” and “Detecting Treated Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire.” Jewelers of America will conduct its certified store manager exam, and the MD-DE-WDC Jewelers Association will sponsor a design contest. The association also will take advantage of the weekend to hold its annual breakfast meeting. Golf, tennis and swimming are planned as well.

Maryland-Delaware-Washington, D.C, Jewelers Association, 171 Conduit St., Annapolis, MD 21401; (410) 269-1440, fax (410) 269-0325.


The Ohio Jewelers Association will tee off its 1996 Columbus Jewelry Show with the traditional golf outing plus cocktail parties and three days of educational and exhibitor events. The show is scheduled for Aug. 16-18 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

The first day, in addition to the golf outing, will feature all-day demonstrations on computer education and colored stones and hour-long sessions titled “Jewelers Insurance: Do You Really Know What You Have?” “Insurance Replacement Appraisals,” “Merchandising and Promoting of Designer Jewelry,” “Managing for Profit and Increased Cash Flow in the ’90s,” “You Can Take It With You…” (business succession planning), “Advanced Appraisal Methodology” and “Platinum’s Power in the Retail Marketplace.” An exhibitor and buyer cocktail reception will be held that evening.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 17 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 18. More than 300 exhibitors are expected at the sold-out event.

Special presentations are planned each day before the show opens. Matthew Runci, executive director of Jewelers of America, will present “The Jewelry Industry and the Next Millenia” at 8 a.m. on Aug. 17. Tom Chatham, president of Chatham Inc., will discuss “Laboratory Grown Emeralds, Rubies and Sapphires” at a breakfast seminar Aug. 18.

Attendees can relax with JCK at a cocktail party the evening of Aug. 17; plans for The JCK Shows in Orlando and Las Vegas next year will be discussed. After the party, attendees may dance the night away at Jewelers Night Out, a party in the Convention Center ballroom with the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s music of the “Van Dells.”

Ohio Jewelers Association, 50 W. Broad St., Suite 2020, Columbus, OH 43215; (800) 652-6257 or (614) 221-2237, fax (614) 221-7020.


The Jewelers International Showcase will introduce a show this fall in Aruba, a Caribbean island 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela.

The show, to be held Nov. 16-18, will encompass 170 booths in the Seaport Conference Center at the Aruba Sonesta Resorts and Casinos in Oranjestad, Aruba.

JIS is the only delivery jewelry trade show that caters primarily to the jewelry trade in Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America. Jewelers International Showcase Inc., 6405 Congress Ave., Suite 125, Boca Raton, FL 33487-2844; (407) 998-0205, fax (407) 993-0209.


The Dallas Fine Jewelry Show by MIDAS will grow to more than 425 booths this year with the addition of an antique and estate jewelry section sponsored by Richard Arens of the International Jewelers Association. The show will be held in Market Hall Sept. 7-9.

The new 40-booth section will showcase estate and antique jewelry and vintage watches from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Products will carry such famous names as Cartier, Van Cleef, Faberge, Tiffany, Boucheron, Patek Philippe and Vacheron.

International Jewelers Association, 3150 Danville Blvd., Suite B, Alamo, CA 94507; (510) 552-0452, fax (510) 552-5233.

Dallas Fine Jewelry Show by MIDAS, P.O. Box 535083, Grand Prairie, TX 75053-5083; (214) 660-3831, fax (214) 641-2400.


More than 3,450 attended Expo Providence, 11% of them from foreign countries, says the Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America. The event was held May 5-7 in the Rhode Island Convention Center.

James Marquart, president and chief executive officer of MJSA, said some foreign buyers may have scheduled a stop at Expo Providence on their way home from the Basel Fair. “Whatever the reason, the high percentage of foreign buyers confirms Expo Providence’s place as a leading international venue for the manufacturing jeweler and supplier,” he says.

Expo Providence also featured 21 seminars, including Technology Day, which took a peek at the factory of the future.


The 41st OASIS Gift Show will be held Aug. 9-11 in the Phoenix Civic Plaza in Phoenix, Ariz.

The show will feature more than 1,300 booths of eclectic giftware, including jewelry, apparel and accessories, home accents, multicultural items and general gift merchandise. Seminars include “Million Dollar Advertising Ideas on a Shoestring Budget” and “Ways to Wow! How to Really Impress Your Customers and Drive Your Competitors Crazy.”

Organization of Associated Salespeople in the Southwest Inc., 1130 E. Missouri, Suite 750, Phoenix, AZ 85014-2717; (800) 344-8447 or (620) 230-1237, fax (602) 230-7079.


Embracing a nostalgic theme of the history of writing instruments, the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association WRITE Show in Orlando, Fla., drew a record crowd of more than 700 visitors.

The show exhibited inks, tips, clips, nibs, cartridges, caps, barrels, plugs, and decorating, hot stamping, printing and assembly machinery from 68 companies.

Companies filled 10 display cases with advertisements from the 1940s and 1950s, packaging of different eras, commemorative photographs, old product catalogs and many old-fashioned writing instruments and components. The exhibition showcased the old but emphasized the new as visitors observed how the industry had changed through the years.

WIMA, 236 Rt. 38W, Suite 100, Moorestown, NJ 08057; (609) 231-8500, fax (609) 231-4664.


The BANGKOK GEMS, JEWELRY, WATCH & CLOCK FAIR will be held Sept. 11-14 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand. The fair will feature gold and silver jewelry with and without gemstones, loose cut stones, rough stones, precious metals, jewelry boxes, equipment, machinery and publications. Thai Trade Center, 5 World Trade Center, Suite 3443, New York, N.Y. 11215; (212) 466-1777, fax (212) 524-0972.

The Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair will be held Sept. 9-13 in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. More than 700 leading watch and clock makers from 14 countries are expected at this year’s fair, which is organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. (852) 2584-4333, fax (852) 2824-0249.

Travel packages that combine the WATCH & CLOCK FAIR with the HONG KONG JEWELRY & WATCH FAIR, Sept. 18-22, are being offered through Natalie Rokusek & Associates, a travel agency specializing in Asian business and trade shows. (800) 431-9851, fax (415) 334-7926.

The Christmas spirit will be in the air at Iberjoya, the International Jewellery, Silverware and Watch Exhibition, Sept. 13-17 in Madrid, Spain. Jewelers will be able to prepare for the holiday season at the show and two coinciding exhibitions: Intergift, the International Gift Fair, and Bisutex, the Fashion Jewellery and Accessories Trade Fair. Iberjoya will offer jewelry, silver, pearls and precious stones, watches and clocks from the jewelry centers of several Spanish regions. In the U.S., (305) 444-9500, fax (305) 529-2854.

The Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America will cosponsor a U.S. Designer Showcase at INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY LONDON ’96, to be held Sept. 8-11 in London, England. The showcase is designed to help U.S. companies better reach potential buyers in the United Kingdom.

MIOR and the SMART Expo wrapped up in Bologna, Italy, in May. MIOR exhibited goldsmiths’ wares, silver, jewelry, precious stones, clocks, watches and related equipment; the SMART Expo displayed gifts, tableware, furnishing accessories and design samples. The combined exhibitions drew 12,783 people.

The “golden heart of Italy” will host the OROAREZZO INTERNATIONAL GOLD, Silver and Jewelry Trade Exhibition Sept. 7-10. Arezzo, Italy, is the heart of the gold processing industry with more than 1,000 gold and silver manufacturers. At OroArezzo, Italian companies will exhibit gold and silver artifacts, fine jewelry, loose stones, pearls, coral, gold and silver processing machinery and equipment. Centro Affari e Convengi Arezzo, Via Fleming, 1, 52100 Arezzo, Italy; (39-575) 381-333, fax (39-575) 383-028.

MACEF will be held Sept. 6-9 in Milan, Italy. The fair will feature tableware, household and gift items, silverware, goldsmiths’ items and watches. The trade fair will coincide with Bijoux, a costume jewelry fair in Milan. Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Inc., 730 Fifth Ave., Suite 600, New York, NY 10019; (212) 459-0044, fax (212) 459-0090.

The seventh Shenzhen International Watch, Clock & Jewellery Fair in China attracted more than 11,000 buyers. On-site orders totaled $6.2 million, and business under negotiation was estimated at $10.7 million. Organizers observed several trends in buying habits, including a change in taste among the women of China from pure gold and karat gold jewelry to gem-set and diamond jewelry. The next fair will be held May 22-25, 1997.

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